Traps to avoid when choos­ing colours

The Northland Age - - Local News -

Choos­ing paint colours can be tricky, and there are some com­mon mis­takes that should be avoided.

Many peo­ple say they like strong colours, but when it comes to paint­ing their walls they go for off-white. Per­haps it’s a fear of putting off fu­ture buy­ers that scares them into safety, but they shouldn’t let it. Who wants a house that looks like every­thing else on the mar­ket? Well-used strong colour is hugely mem­o­rable.

A painted wall is eas­ily and cheaply changed, so if you do have a lapse in colour judge­ment it’s easy to try some­thing else. Re­sene has many tools avail­able to help you make a de­ci­sion, like test pots and A4 paint swatches (known as draw­downs), to help min­imise the chance of mak­ing a mis­take be­fore you buy the paint. Maybe ease your­self in gen­tly by paint­ing a fea­ture wall in strong colour first.

Don’t as­sume that even if you choose the most neu­tral of neu­tral paint colours you should use it on ev­ery sur­face — the walls, trims and ceil­ing. You’ll end up with a bland re­sult, and if you have cho­sen a cool white, you’ll feel like you’re liv­ing in­side a chilly bin.

There is a vast ar­ray of in­ter­est­ing neu­trals in the Re­sene Whites & Neu­trals col­lec­tion. The colours are hand­ily grouped in vari­ants, i.e. half, quar­ter, dou­ble etc. strengths of the same colour. An ef­fec­tive scheme can be cre­ated by us­ing, for ex­am­ple, a full strength of a colour on the walls, a triple strength on a fea­ture wall, a half strength on the trims and a quar­ter on the ceil­ing.

Don’t just paint all the walls white while the kids are young or you’re wait­ing to ren­o­vate. If you con­sciously choose white walls, be sure you have fab­u­lous fur­ni­ture, as white will sil­hou­ette the fur­ni­ture in a way no other colour will. Creams or tau­pes are far more for­giv­ing.

Paint colours fall roughly into two styles, muddy and clear. Most suc­cess­ful schemes are based on mud­died, muted colours, as they are softer on the eye and eas­ier to live with.

You might make the as­sump­tion that the ‘leaf green’ you’re keen on is quite bright, but look closer and you’ll see that most leaf greens are quite greyed and dusky. You’re prob­a­bly af­ter sage, not mint, olive not emer­ald.

Like­wise with sea blues or earth browns.

The ex­cep­tion is a trend for jewel tones, where deep, clear colours may be the hero: navy sap­phire, ruby red, re­gal pur­ple or jade green. Clear, bright colours are best kept as ac­cents.

If your skirt­ing is skimpy or you have ugly doors, don’t high­light them by paint­ing them a dif­fer­ent colour to the walls in a neu­tral or tonal scheme. Use a gloss change in­stead (such as gloss Re­sene Ena­macryl or semi-gloss Re­sene Lus­tacryl). It will ap­pear slightly paler, as the gloss re­flects more light, but it won’t draw at­ten­tion to it­self.

If you have a low ceil­ing height, paint­ing the skirt­ing and sco­tia in a dif­fer­ent colour will cre­ate two hor­i­zon­tal lines, sand­wich­ing the space and mak­ing the ceil­ing feel even lower.

Keep your colour pal­ette un­der con­trol. Use one ac­cent colour, or sub­tle vari­ants of it, in one space and not a whole ca­cophony of them. A good rule of thumb for an ac­cent colour is to keep it to about 10 per cent of the scheme.

Use a Re­sene test pot. Look at the colour painted in the big­gest size you can in the room, and with all the fur­nish­ings. Paint the colour on a piece of card and prop it up be­hind the sofa, hold it next to the cur­tains, check it with the car­pet. Do this in both day and night light.

A seem­ingly in­tense neu­tral can wash out to noth­ing on an ex­te­rior house wall that’s blasted by the sun. And green or yel­low can be over­pow­er­ing in a bright room when the colour is bounced back on it­self from the walls.

Re­sene tin­ters and paint are unique, so only Re­sene paint will give you true colour ren­di­tion. If you have a Re­sene colour tinted into an­other brand of paint, you’ll be in for a nasty non­match­ing sur­prise.

Re­sene also has all sorts of clever ad­di­tives and paint tech­nolo­gies to make sure your paint, and the colour it car­ries, has a longer-last­ing, bet­ter­look­ing life. For ex­am­ple, there’s the Re­sene Kitchen & Bath­room range, Re­sene Fly De­ter­rent and Re­sene CoolColour for ex­te­ri­ors, to name a few.

Ask staff at your Re­sene ColorShop for more de­tails.

Too much cool white can trans­form a room into a chilly bin.

High­light­ing skirt­ing and doors is a good idea — if they lend them­selves to it.

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